Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: February 13th On the folly of deferring our conversion to God

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

FEBRUARY 13TH

ON THE FOLLY OF DEFERRING OUR CONVERSION TO GOD

Consider first, how foolish it is for the sinner, when called, when invited and pressed by the best of Fathers to return to him, to choose rather to continue a slave to Satan, to feed his swine, and to prefer the husks of swine which can never satisfy him, before his Father’s table, and the happy liberty of the children of God. Ah! poor wretch, open thy eyes and see how strangely thou art deluded! Thy God proffers thee this mercy, his grace, his favour, the honour of being his child, his spouse, his temple, a share in his heavenly treasures, his peace, his comforts, his table, his kingdom, his Holy Spirit, in a word, himself and all that is good; and thou art so blind, and so mad, as to desire him to keep all his favours for another time, and to make a choice for thyself at present of the extremity of all misery, by choosing to go on yet a while under the dreadful guilt of mortal sin – a wretched slave to Satan, sin, and hell. Can any madness be compared to this?

Consider 2ndly, how vain and foolish are those pretexts by which sinners suffer themselves to be imposed upon, when they defer their conversion to God, especially with regard to pretended difficulties in the undertaking, which would all presently be put to flight, and vanish away, if they would but once heartily set their hand to the work. But the common delusion is, that they vainly imagine they will do it more easily another time. A dreadful illusion indeed! since both reason and daily experience must make it evident, that the longer this work is deferred, the harder it is to bring it about. And how should it be otherwise, since by these delays, and by continuing to add sin to sin, their sinful habits grow daily stronger upon them, and consequently harder to be rooted out; the devils’ power over them daily increases, and the Almighty, provoked by their repeated abuses of his graces and their obstinate impenitence, withdraws himself further and further from them, and suffers them by degrees to fall into that blindness and hardness of heart, which of all evils is the most difficult to be cured.

Consider 3rdly, the folly of all such as put off their conversion to God, through the apprehension of the confession of their sins, and choose to suffer for a long time the gnawing worm of a guilty conscience, with all the other evils that always attend on mortal sin, and to be continually exposed to the danger of death and hell, and to all the judgments of an offended God, rather than undergo a small confusion, that would last but one moment, and would immediately be followed with unspeakable comfort, and with a speedy pardon, reconciliation, peace, and grace. Would not all the world condemn that person of the greatest folly and madness who, labouring under a most painful and mortal distemper, should refuse an easy, safe, and sovereign remedy, only because it was disagreeable to the palate, just for the moment of the taking of it? But O how much more unaccountable of so small a humiliation as the confession of his sins to a minister of God ,bound by the laws, both of God and man, to an eternal secrecy, refuses all the medicines of heaven under a mortal disease which is hurrying him on towards an eternal death, and chooses rather to risk his all for eternity than to discover his illness to his physician?

Conclude not to suffer the enemy to impose upon thee by any of his deceitful wiles, so as to induce thee to continue playing upon the brink of a precipice, with the sword of God hanging over his head. No prudent person would refuse to be immediately reconciled to a man whom he had offended, who had the power and authority to condemn him to a cruel death for his offence; how much less should the sinner put off his reconciliation with an offended God, who can in an instant cast both his body and soul into hell, and who is highly provoked by his impenitence.

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